No Bottle Opener? This Common Grilling Tool Will Do the Job Just Fine

published Jun 14, 2022
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Pouring bottled beer into glass.
Credit: Martí Sans/Stocksy

I believe that next to good burgers, the most crucial component of any cookout is a cooler full of beer (my mama raised me right). All too often, though, I remember the brews but forget a bottle opener. I was seriously considering leaving an extra church key (a.k.a. bottle opener) in my car’s center console until I discovered a cleverly hacky tip from America’s Test Kitchen.

The tip, which I spied on ATK’s Instagram account, says that you can use regular ol’ grill tongs as a bottle opener. “Sandwich the top of the bottle inside the handle and you can gently pop the top off,” a graphic explains, along with an illustrated drawing of the process. Brilliant? I think so!

I’m not a fan of “alternate use” tools that aren’t actually helpful. For example, I guess it’s possible that a tube of lipstick could crack open a cold one, but trust me: If I don’t have a bottle opener handy, I definitely don’t have lip tint. However, if I’m grilling, there are tongs close by. That’s what makes this tip so useful!

The comments section on this post is predictably sassy. “Learn how to use a lighter like a grownup,” wrote one reader, followed by a retort from another: “I think everyone outgrew that trick in college.” 

Other fans of the ATK account left a laundry list of suggestions for alternative bottle openers, including but not limited to: chef’s knives, spoons, credit cards, a ring, and a cousin’s “snaggle tooth.”

One commenter did add a decidedly thought-provoking note that has gained over a dozen Likes. “Almost anything can be a bottle opener if you leverage it properly,” followed by the heart-eyes emoji. I’ll finish here with the cheers-beers emoji and the thinking-face emoji.